New slim cans of Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water are beginning to show up at retail this week as part of a brand makeover aimed at corralling a bigger piece of the booming market for hard seltzers.
Six-packs of the 88-calorie cans will be available in Lemon Lime and Passion Fruit, and a variety 12-pack includes the new flavor, Strawberry Kiwi.
The MillerCoors-owned brand, which also makes hard sodas, is moving into slim cans a year after its debut and as alcohol beverage sales begin their summer ascent. The new cans, which are bright with color bursts around the edges and target consumers who seek healthier lifestyles, have helped Henry’s Hard Sparkling Water secure substantial distribution gains for the relaunch, says Josh Wexelbaum, marketing director for the brand.
In combination with what he calls “category-leading” media support, a campaign that includes television, digital, social, print and out-of-home, the brand is primed to make a bigger splash, he says. “Soon after these new cans begin hitting the market, you should start to see us everywhere,” Wexelbaum says.
With messaging on packages that includes “only 88 calories,” “no sugar” and “low carb,” Henry’s Hard Sparkling has “a significant and meaningful advantage in a market” that caters to calorie-conscious adults who pay attention to what they put in their bodies.
Henry’s reformulated the drink for the move into cans, reducing its number of calories per can to 88. Each Hard Sparkling flavor has no sugar and fewer than two carbohydrates per 12-ounce serving.
After an unexpected blowout year in 2017, retailers and suppliers are optimistic the hard seltzer category has staying power, in part because of the continued success of non-alcoholic sparkling waters such as LaCroix. That would be most-welcome news for beer companies because hard seltzers source drinkers from the wine and spirits categories, which have been swiping share from beer over the last few years.
Wexelbaum, who says the drinks could become the light beers of the flavored-malt-beverage segment, is confident Henry’s Hard Sparkling will be able to snag a larger share of the nascent market, which was the primary driver of the FMB category in 2017.
Brands such Mike’s Hard-owned White Claw Hard Seltzer, for instance, ranked No. 6 on this week’s Nielsen Top 10 Growth Brands. And Boston Beer Co.-owned Truly Spiked & Sparkling was among few bright spots highlighted by executives in the company’s most-recent earnings report.